This assignment will walk you through the steps to create crisis response plans, which is a critical job skill for counselors of children and adolescents. Using the Group Crisis Intervention Template, you will:
- Develop a one-time group crisis intervention plan that will help children or adolescents deal with the loss of classmates.
- Develop a one-time group crisis intervention plan to assist their parents and other concerned community members.
- For each intervention plan, describe how you will adapt these groups so that they are beneficial for individuals from different cultural backgrounds and are inclusive of individuals with exceptionalities.
- Use the Group Crisis Intervention Template to complete this assignment. Follow the instructions for formatting your plan, as indicated in the template.
Counselors who work with children and adolescents rarely work only with children and adolescents! They are often asked to help with prevention efforts, consult with schools or other groups that serve children, educate parents and teachers about children’s mental health needs, and advocate for changes in communities and schools. Therefore, any counselor must understand how these multiple systems operate and must be knowledgeable about the programs and networks that support the mental health of diverse children and adolescents in the community.
For this assignment, you will describe how you would work with diverse individuals and two different constituencies by developing a group crisis intervention proposal for the Middle Valley Consortium. The intervention will include counseling components, education and prevention components, and follow-up plans to connect individuals to other programs or networks, if needed.
Your proposal is being requested because the community is still reeling from the shocking death of two middle school students, who overdosed on prescription drugs. Your proposal will include plans for holding two crisis intervention groups, one for the classmates of the deceased children and one for parents and community members who are upset by the event and concerned about the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse among children and adolescents.
Your community is diverse, so your crisis groups will include members from several different racial and ethnic backgrounds. You also have been informed that there is one middle school girl who has a hearing impairment, as do her parents, and one middle school boy affected by a motor neuron disease resulting in orthopedic impairment; he requires a wheelchair. His father is also affected by this heritable disease and requires a wheelchair. Additionally, from previous experience in the school, you know that two of your group members are medicated for ADHD.
You will implement your crisis counseling groups adapting the Group Crisis Intervention plan offered in Counseling Children, pages 610–612; however, you will tailor your plan to meet the needs of your attendees. Your proposal will include the following:
Introduction to Group Crisis Intervention
Discuss why group crisis counseling is helpful for children and adolescents who experience crises and how this meets important mental health needs. Discuss why group crisis counseling is also helpful for parents, teachers, or community members who work with children, using a systems theory perspective.
Select a counseling theory that will guide your crisis interventions and state your rationale for using it for this purpose.
Skills Required in Diverse Groups
Discuss the counseling skills and techniques, based on your selected theory, which will be genuinely helpful to both groups. How will you build and maintain rapport throughout the group? How will you ascertain that you accurately hear and sensitively respond to the group’s emotions?
Sample Group Outlines—Counseling Phase
For each group, describe the Introductory Phase, Fact Phase, Feeling Phase, and Client’s Current Symptoms Phase with brief elaborations of what you as a counselor will do or say in each phase.
The teaching phase will differ for your middle school group and your concerned parents and community members group. In addition to teaching your groups about common responses to crises, including helpful and unhelpful responses, you will need to include a prevention component to briefly address substance addictions, including why and how they develop (etiology), how they can be prevented, and how to intervene when a peer (or a child or adolescent) is suspected of using drugs, and where group members can go for further information.
The summary phase will help support group members going forward. Describe how you will help develop individual or group action plans. Describe how you will inform the group of several hypothetical school or community resources where they can turn for additional help. The resources should be somewhat different for the adolescent group and the parent and community members groups. Including resources that are available in your own community as part of your resources for your groups will help prepare you for your own future!
Assuring Cultural Appropriateness for Diverse Individuals
One responsibility of counselors is to use multicultural competencies to ensure that individuals from all background benefit from our services. In group settings, this can be even more challenging due to differences among the group members. Even group members from the same race have different levels of acculturation, and so might respond to counseling strategies differently. What will you do to remain alert and responsive to needs of the group? How might you need to modify your counseling skills, techniques, and the group crisis counseling intervention to make it culturally appropriate for diverse individuals?
Assuring Appropriateness for Individuals With Exceptionalities
All individuals have the right to receive mental health services that meet their needs. How will you adapt or modify your groups so that children and adults with unique exceptionalities or disabilities can benefit as involved members? Are there legal considerations that will inform your group crisis counseling plans?
Briefly describe what you have learned about how counselors—particularly counselors who serve children and adolescents—need skills to influence community systems, family systems, and school systems on behalf of their clients.